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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Weightlifter charged in steroid case

A Moses Lake man known as the “Bench Monster,” for his world-record weightlifting exploits faces federal charges tied to anabolic steroids.

Ryan Shawn Kennelly, 38, once bench pressed 1,075 pounds to set a world record at the Pride Strength Wars in Kennewick.

Now his burden is dealing with the fallout of a grand jury indictment involving outlawed steroids, charges that carry maximum penalties upon conviction of 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

He pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to a rash of charges accusing him of possessing lab equipment to make steroids; importing anabolic steroids; possession and attempts to deliver steroids; and being an unlawful user of a drug while possessing firearms and ammunition.

Friday was not the muscle-bound Kennelly’s first brush with steroid allegations.

Grant County prosecutors accused him in October 2010 of manufacturing marijuana and possession and intent to distribute marijuana and anabolic steroids, the Tri-City Herald reported.

Two months later, authorities searched his Kennewick apartment and seized 84 vials of steroids, and he was charged with possession with intent to manufacture and deliver anabolic steroids.

While those two cases were pending, authorities accused him of trying to ship steroids from Washington to California via UPS, but California Highway Patrol investigators intercepted the package and discovered the vials inside.

It is unclear what bearing the charges may have on his status as world record holder with the World Powerlifting Organization. Founder Kieran Kidder did not respond to an interview request.

Kennelly is being held in the Spokane County Jail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno set his bail hearing for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.